The Reader magazine

“The Reader is one of the best things to thump through the letter box. . . Full of pithy, passionate and precise things.” Seamus Heaney

Published quarterly since 1997, The Reader magazine offers the whole literary mix with new fiction and poetry, classic and neglected works, interview with leading figures in the arts, thought-pieces, insight and advice on Shared Reading, research into the benefits of reading news from the wider world of books.

The Reader magazine showcases great writing from well known names and new voices side by side. We welcome submissions of previously unpublished poetry, fiction, essays, readings and thoughts. See our Submission Guidelines for more information.

“Just what real readers need – good writing and good thinking about writing and reading.” A.S. Byatt

The Reader Magazine Submission Guidelines

Editorial Team:
Editor: Philip Davis
Deputy Editor: Sarah Coley
Co-Editors: Marjorie Lofti Gill, Angela Macmillan, Fiona Magee, Brian Nellist

Poetry and Short Fiction

Poetry and short fiction accounts for 20-25% of each issue of The Reader magazine and we encourage published and non-published writers to send in their work.

As a guideline for length / quantity, short stories or (more rarely) extracts from novels are normally 2,000-2,500 words long, and we ask that no more than six poems are submitted at one time. Only one short story should be submitted at one time.


General Articles: The Reader publishes longer articles on individual writers, on aspects of literature, on literature and thought, and on the role of reading in life. These range from 1,500-2,000 words in length. Here, as elsewhere, the editors look for freshness of perception and quality of engagement.

Reviews: The magazine welcomes reviews of recent titles in the fields of poetry, fiction, autobiography, literary biography and literary criticism. Purely destructive reviews are not usually published. Reviews are normally between 1,000-2,500 words long but they can be shorter. They should include full details of the book reviewed.

Recommendations: The ‘Reader Recommends’ section of the magazine is an opportunity to commend a favourite or recently-discovered work, usually (but not necessarily) of fiction. Titles have included ancient classics as well as modern novels. The editors look for work which communicates why the book matters, and which makes telling use of quotation. Recommendations are normally 500 words long.

Alternatively, you could write a shorter recommendation for our ‘Good Books’ section, which is usually around 50 to 100 words.

Send your submissions, in typescript only please, to:

Magazine Submissions,
The Reader, Calderstones Mansion House,
Calderstones Park, Liverpool, L18 3JB

Please note: we cannot accept submissions via e-mail and a S.A.E. is required for the return of submissions. Please email if you have any further queries. If you are sending submissions from overseas, please do not send postal coupons (replies can be sent by email).

What happens after I send my submission?

Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis, with editorial meetings usually held every six to eight weeks. If you have not heard back from us after eight weeks, please feel free to contact us at

Please note that we only accept previously unpublished work.

Share this page: